Many manufacturers had given up with their muscle cars with the advent of stringent emissions laws, but Pontiac persevered with their Firebird and Trans Am models, de-tuning the engines where necessary. The thing was, while bhp was easy to limit with intake and fueling restrictions, torque often survived the changes unaffected, so the cars were still quick off the mark and gave drivers a good 'seat of the pants' feel. This made the Firebirds popular for those who either didn't mind paying extra for fuel or for people who simply wanted them as a second car. They still handled well with unitary construction and uprated double wishbone front suspension (with anti-roll bar) plus a leaf sprung live rear axle, and 11-inch (280mm) front discs helped too, as did 7x14-inch (178x356mm) five-spoke steel wheels. The car kept its energy-absorbing front fender, and even had a cold-air intake hood.
Pontiac Formula 400 (1973) Specifications
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